The Joker is back!!!

The Batman universe is set to expand once more with a new film from Warner Bros and DC with Martin Scorsese on board to produce, according to a report in the Hollywood online news site, Deadline, reported by The Guardian.

The film – an origin story of the character, which won’t be attached to any other iteration – will be directed by The Hangover’s Todd Phillips, who will co-write the film with Scott Silver (8 Mile, The Fighter).

While Jared Leto is currently playing the character in the DC expanded universe, including in the forthcoming Suicide Squad sequel and Gotham City Sirens, the new film, according to Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr, “will launch the character with a different actor, possibly younger”.

“The intention is to make a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film set in early-80s Gotham City that isn’t meant to feel like a DC movie as much as one of Scorsese’s films from that era, like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull or The King Of Comedy,” he writes.

This will be the first film under a new WB banner that expands DC properties with new storylines and different actors – and while the script is already in the works, there are no signs yet as to where the film will fit in the DC schedule.

Whichever actor they pick has big shoes to fill, following iconic performances from Jack Nicholson in 1989’s Batman and Heath Ledger in 2008’s The Dark Knight, which was released after his death in January that year.